Michael Cook, a 30-year-old senior research fellow at the University of Falmouth, has built an AI capable of imagining new video games from scratch. Cook calls the machine Angelina, a recursive acronym that stands for “A Novel Game-Evolving Labrat I’ve Named Angelina” (a joke that Cook says got old pretty quickly). Since its earliest form, in 2011, it has created hundreds of experimental video games, received acclaim in an international game-making competition, and had its work featured in a New York gallery exhibit. READ MORE: AI Is Dreaming Up New Kinds of Video Games | MIT Tech Review
Disney researchers have been coming up with some striking new technology lately, including a method for real-time speech animation, shared augmented reality and some creepy face-projection tech for live performances. Now, researchers at Disney and the University of Massachusetts Boston have been working on neural networks that can evaluate short stories.
Fears that computers were taking over swept the world this week when stories emerged about Facebook’s AI creating its own language that researchers couldn’t understand. But they might be a little misplaced.
Artificial intelligence experts have looked to calm worries that robots are becoming sentient or that we are living through the prelude to Terminator. The messages might seem strange, they agree. But they are explicable and fairly normal in the world of artificial intelligence research. READ MORE: Facebook’s artificial intelligence agents creating their own language is more normal than people think, researchers say | The Independent
Engel and Resnick are part of Google Magenta—a small team of AI researchers inside the internet giant building computer systems that can make their own art—and this is their latest project. It’s called NSynth, and the team will publicly demonstrate the technology later this week at Moogfest, the annual art, music, and technology festival, held this year in Durham, North Carolina.
The idea is that NSynth, which Google first discussed in a blog post last month, will provide musicians with an entirely new range of tools for making music. READ MORE: Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before | WIRED
When the writer Rebecca Forster first heard how Google was using her work, it felt like she was trapped in a science fiction novel. “Is this any different than someone using one of my books to start a fire? I have no idea,” she says. “I have no idea what their objective is. Certainly it is not to bring me readers.”
After a 25-year writing career, during which she has published 29 novels ranging from contemporary romance to police procedurals, the first instalment of her Josie Bates series, Hostile Witness, has found a new reader: Google’s artificial intelligence.
“My imagination just didn’t go as far as it being used for something like this,” Forster says. “Perhaps that’s my failure.” Forster’s thriller is just one of 11,000 novels that researchers including Oriol Vinyals and Andrew M Dai at Google Brain have been using to improve the technology giant’s conversational style. After feeding these books into a neural network, the system was able to generate fluent, natural-sounding sentences. READ MORE: Google swallows 11,000 novels to improve AI’s conversation | Books | The Guardian
IBM Watson can add yet another skill to its resume: the ability to make movie trailers. 20th Century Fox has tapped into the supercomputer’s powers to create the first AI-made trailer for its upcoming thriller film Morgan. It’s a fitting start for Watson’s trailer-making career. Morgan is, after all, a sci-fi flick about a group of scientists who created a humanoid machine that rapidly gained capabilities and went out of control. READ MORE: Watson helped make a trailer for a horror movie about AI | engadget
Image Source: TechCrunch
Artists beware! AI is coming for your paintbrush too… A new iOS app, called Prisma, is using deep learning algorithms to turn smartphone photos into stylized artworks based on different artwork/graphical styles.
Snap or choose your photo, select an ‘art filter’ to be applied and then wait as the app works its algorithmic magic — returning your stylized image in a matter of seconds, along with options to share it to your social networks. READ MORE: Prisma uses AI to turn your photos into graphic novel fodder double quick | TechCrunch
Earlier this month Google’s software engineer Andrew Dai explained to BuzzFeed News that the genre’s formulaic approach to storytelling makes it ideal for machine learning. They hit a sweet spot between the labyrinthine, meandering sentences found in literary fiction, and the less elevated language used in kids’ books.
And in a heartrending plot twist: the experiment worked. The hairy details were released last week, but in short, the AI successfully connected lines of text to related phrases based on frequently connected words and phrases used in romance novels. READ MORE: Here’s What A Robot Learned After Binge-Reading Romance Novels | HuffPost
This has to be one of the most awesome headlines I have ever seen while curating news for this blog! 🙂
For the past few months, Google has been feeding text like this to an AI engine — all of it taken from steamy romance novels with titles like Unconditional Love, Ignited, Fatal Desire, and Jacked Up. Google’s AI has read them all — every randy, bodice-ripping page — because the researchers overseeing its development have determined that parsing the text of romance novels could be a great way of enhancing the company’s technology with some of the personality and conversational skills it lacks.
And it’s working, too. Google’s research team recently got the AI to write sentences that resemble those in the books. With that achievement unlocked, they’re now planning to move on to bigger challenges: using the conversational styles the AI has learned to inform and humanize the company’s products, such as the typically staid Google app. READ MORE: Google Is Feeding Romance Novels To Its Artificial Intelligence Engine To Make Its Products More Conversational | BuzzFeed News
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new artificially intelligent system that crowdsources plots for interactive stories, which are popular in video games and let players choose different branching story options. READ MORE: GT | Georgia Institute of Technology | News Center | Georgia Tech Uses Artificial Intelligence to Crowdsource Interactive Fiction